added by archaeologs In Greek antiquity, a temporary shop or building but, more commonly, a building behind the playing area that was originally a hut for the changing of masks and costumes but eventually became the background for the plays. It was often several stories with a stage placed behind the orchestra. Skenes were first used c 465 BC. By the end of the 5th century BC, the wooden skene was replaced by a permanent stone structure. In the Roman theater, it was an elaborate building facade.